VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 3,500 well-dressed investors and entrepreneurs converged last week in Las Vegas in what was the marijuana industry's biggest event to date by far - the 3rd annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo.
It was a monumental event, bringing together some of the top agricultural companies in the country with experts in security, logistics, software, packaging, even Wall St. was there, as well as several reported celebrity sightings. To say we have a very hot new sector in this country is an understatement.
Supreme Pharmaceuticals (CNSX:SL) (OTC:SPRWF) is looking like a champion on this frontier, having built a high-tech pharmaceutical-grade greenhouse in Canada, ideally suited for cannabis cultivation on a large-scale.
"In May 2014 we purchased a 342,000 square foot agricultural greenhouse in Kincardine, Ontario," stated Supreme's Director of Operations in an exclusive interview with Financial Press. "Since then we've deployed over $4 million to convert it into a medical marijuana growing facility that exceeds the federal regulatory requirements."
The speedy execution of the construction phase reflects the financial, entrepreneurial and operational mix of Supreme's management team. The company has a solid track record in capital markets, logistics and the marijuana space.
In January, 2014 Supreme received a "Ready-to-Build" letter from the federal regulator indicating its proposal to produce up to 24,000 KG of medical marijuana per year met the regulatory requirements. The ready to build letter states that a producer's license will be issued following a successful pre-license inspection.
As the pre-license construction phase comes to a close, the company is now one step away from a green light to commercially produce medical marijuana. "Within the next few weeks we anticipate completing all of the pre-installed regulatory requirements," stated Fowler. "That means the security infrastructure, quality assurance and record keeping protocols are all in place – and we're ready to put seeds in the ground and turn the lights on."
Fowler describes the Kincardine greenhouse as the ideal facility to produce high quality, low cost medical marijuana, which will become one of Supreme's cornerstone competitive advantages. In addition to the traditional cost-saving benefits of greenhouse agriculture, this greenhouse is uniquely suited to medical marijuana production. "The greenhouse is designed to be much shorter than a traditional agricultural greenhouse," Fowler continued, "which is ideal for shorter plants like marijuana. This design means there are millions of cubic feet of air that we do not have to manage with our climate control systems. Reducing heating and cooling saves costs and boosts production efficiency."
The size of the Kincardine facility gives Supreme a significant competitive advantage over other applicants. Health Canada's regulatory guidance states that it intends to transform a sprawling cottage industry to a small number of scaled growing facilities. "Economies-of-scale have enabled us to make significant capital expenses with construction and quality control," said Fowler. "We're doing premium installations that would not be practical for a 40,000 square foot facility."
Supreme is also one of the first medical marijuana companies to take an agricultural approach to the production of medical marijuana. "This is an agricultural business first, which is why we are utilizing an agricultural facility and the latest technology for automated greenhouse agriculture," stated Fowler. "We have a large, secured, highly automated facility capable of providing a sustainable supply of a standardized medical product, something the medical community has told us is essential. One of the problems with smaller facilities is that they can run out of product, depending on the harvesting cycle. That can be a problem for patients who are only responsive to one strain. Supreme's scale means that we can guarantee reliability and consistency in the supply chain."
Fowler describes the biggest advantage Supreme gains from the greenhouse is the town of Kincardine itself. "The unforeseen benefit of this greenhouse facility in Kincardine had been the town itself," stated Fowler. "We've got support from all levels of government, the local business community and the residents. Last Saturday we had a job fair, which was attended by over 600 locals, even though we only advertised twenty positions. That level of support is unprecedented in an industry where simply being left alone is a victory."
Fowler has been involved in the medical marijuana industry for over a decade. He's likely the only businessman and corporate lawyer in Canada who also has extensive hands-on experience with the medical marijuana patient community and marketplace.
Fowler also intends to use his experience as a patient advocate to help Supreme attract patients who require medical marijuana to treat various ailments. "We are going to institute innovative pricing models," stated Fowler, "designed to accommodate patients on a limited budget and mitigate the fact insurance providers do not yet cover medical marijuana."
On November 17, 2014 Supreme closed a non-brokered private placement financing which, based on investor interest, was increased in size twice, generating $1.78 million in additional capital for the Company.
Supreme Pharmaceuticals is currently trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange at $.41 with a market cap of $31 million.
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